Home World News Berlusconi and Draghi in the starting blocks for the presidency

Berlusconi and Draghi in the starting blocks for the presidency


In Italy, there is the Covid, football and then the presidential election to come, much less important than on the other side of the Alps, but with a certain symbolic value. Unlike France, the Italian constitution does not limit the number of successive mandates of the head of state. And yet, since the abolition of royalty in June 1948, the presidents of the Republic have the habit of throwing in the towel at the end of their first seven years. Only one man has departed from this tradition, Giorgio Napolitano, who agreed to re-enlist in 2013 to help the country emerge from a serious political crisis. That year, the February legislative elections ended in failure, no party having sufficiently convinced the Italians to win the race. Asked to stay in place to put an end to a situation that risked causing a collapse of the economic system and creating turbulence throughout the euro zone, the former communist, aged 88 at the time, had agreed to stay in square. But while warning the country that he would only sign a CDD. Two years later, the old lion will pack his bags and Sergio Mattarella will be elected.

Today, this scenario has very nearly repeated itself. On several occasions, certain party leaders – in particular the Democrats and the 5 Star Movement (M5S) – have asked this former Christian Democrat, born in Sicily and whose brother was murdered by the mafia, not to abandon ship before the next legislative elections of 2023.

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Impossible, always answered Sergio Mattarella, because of my old age (he turned 81 last July) and besides, I want to be a full-time grandfather and my family needs me. “. Annoyed, the parties went to plan B, that is to say the search for a spare part. Which is anything but simple given the complicated profile of the candidate who will have to be able to bring the country together on the eve of the legislative elections and to keep an eye on the grain – especially in anticipation of a victory for the center-right bloc of which the populists of the League and the sovereignists of the postfascist party “Fratelli d’Italia”, Brothers of Italy. He will therefore also have to reassure the partners of the third largest economy in the euro zone and have excellent morals.

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New out of old…

This profile corresponds perfectly to Mario Draghi but not at all to Silvio Berlusconi, the two major candidates in the running. Without having officially applied for the supreme magistracy because in Italy it is not part of the customs, the former boss of the European Central Bank (ECB), who became President of the Council just a year ago, hinted that the thing would not displease him. On the other hand, this is not the opinion of the establishment. In Rome, Milan but also Brussels and Berlin, Super Mario must remain where it is until 2023 and as far as possible even after for the good of Italian and European finances.

On Silvio Berlusconi, who self-proclaimed the right-wing candidate on the eve of the end-of-year celebrations, practically everything has been said and that should be enough to burn his candidacy. Even if in the opinion of some, the old featherless chef could only do one real damage: redecorate the magnificent palace of the Presidency of the Republic, not enough bling bling for the inventor of garbage television. For political scientist Alessandro Campi, even if we must not swear to anything, the election of the billionaire is one of the improbable things even in Italy. “He has too many pots and then no one wants him, not even his allies who are keeping other candidates warm”.

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These other personalities would first be the former President of the National Assembly, Pierferdinando Casini, a veteran of Italian politics used to tackling and passing between the bad drops. Or Marcello Pera, philosopher, ex-president of the Senate and member of Forza Italia, the party founded by Silvio Berlusconi. But the candidacy of this 79-year-old Tuscan who shares the ideas of Benedict XVI, is weakened by his remarks about Francis, whom he has repeatedly accused of being too concerned with security and social well-being and not enough with the salvation of the souls of his flock. But the influence of the Vatican in Italy is such that the electors can hardly choose a detractor of the pope.

… and old people

There remain the female candidates sponsored by a collective of Italian intellectuals who affirmed in a petition published in the press that the time for a woman had come. At the head of the pack, Emma Bonino, former MEP, ex-minister now senator followed by the very Catholic Rosy Bindi who would have taken a vow of chastity and the ex-mayor of Milan Letizia Moratti close to Silvio Berlusconi of whom she was minister education. But is Italy ready for a head of state? Not sure….

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